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I was given a Mac Classic today, along with some SGI machines!

Huxley

Well-known member
In a classic "friend of a friend of a friend" scenario, I got a heads-up last night that someone in my town was looking to offload "some old computer stuff" before it just went to the local e-waste place. Without knowing much other than "I think they mentioned a small Mac of some kind," I agreed to meet up during my lunch break today. The person with the gear turned out to be a super cool lady who had a long background in Linux OS development (I think she mentioned working for SUSE Linux), and she was happy to pass along some dusty old gear to a nerd rather than seeing it all broken down as e-waste. None of this stuff originally belonged to her, so it's all of unknown specs or condition, but either way, this is a hell of a good free haul:
  • Macintosh Classic in good physical condition (fingers crossed for no 'battery bomb' inside), with an ADB mouse, keyboard and cables
  • Silicon Graphics "Indy" workstation (judging by the "glenpark.njudah.com" label on the front, it's almost definitely a machine used in San Francisco, and maybe had some role in the SF Public Transit BART / MUNI system. Here's hoping there's something on the drive to indicate what it was used for!)
  • Silicon Graphics "O2" workstation (including a hand-burned set of IRIX installation CD's)
  • Mac 128k / 512k style keyboard with cable (pretty dirty but in good shape overall)
  • Sharp Minidisc player box which contains only a few blank cassettes and 20-30 Minidiscs with various music recorded onto them (no minidisc player, sadly)
  • Complete-in-box copy of "Heavy Gear II" for Linux (I think this is a mech-combat type game, and it's pretty damn unusual to see a 'big box' retail game package for Linux)
  • Two small boxes (not pictured) loaded with various ISA / PCI cards, misc. cables, an AMD Athlon motherboard, etc.
All-in-all this was a fun meetup and fantastic haul. I'm excited to explore the Indy and O2, and I'm hoping the Classic can be restored to good working order.

Huxley


IMG_7035.jpeg
 

CC_333

Well-known member
This is fun!

I know I'm plugging a bit here, but I have some extra compact Macs (mostly Pluses and 512k/e's) and associated parts that I'm thinking of getting rid of. Would you be interested?

I also probably have an extra PC case lying around somewhere, if you want to build something out of that AMD Athlon board....

c
 

joshc

Well-known member
You were lucky to get a haul like that these days for free. As far as I know, the weak spot on SGI machines is the power supplies - not so diferent to old Macs but SGI PSUs are much beefier and a bit more involved to work on. With any luck yours 'just work'...
 

ScutBoy

Well-known member
Power supplies for Indys and O2s are a lot better than the older Indigos and Octanes - at least for now.

Jealous of the SGI haul!
 

Huxley

Well-known member
This is fun!

I know I'm plugging a bit here, but I have some extra compact Macs (mostly Pluses and 512k/e's) and associated parts that I'm thinking of getting rid of. Would you be interested?

I also probably have an extra PC case lying around somewhere, if you want to build something out of that AMD Athlon board....

c
Good info, thanks! I'd certainly be curious what you decide to part with, but at this point I'm basically having to play Tetris with every item going into my storage locker, and will likely be looking to downsize some surplus gear of my own in the near future. Do share once you're ready though, you never know if you have something I just can't live without :)
You were lucky to get a haul like that these days for free. As far as I know, the weak spot on SGI machines is the power supplies - not so diferent to old Macs but SGI PSUs are much beefier and a bit more involved to work on. With any luck yours 'just work'...
Agreed, the frequency of free hauls of cool / unusual stuff has been dropping steadily over the years - I'm happy that it still happens at all! Good tip about the PSU's also, I appreciate it. My only previous SGI experience is with my trusty Indigo2 "MaxIMPACT" purple beast, which is still running strong on all-original hardware.
Power supplies for Indys and O2s are a lot better than the older Indigos and Octanes - at least for now.

Jealous of the SGI haul!
Fingers crossed that the trend you reference is accurate and both of these cool machines can be brought back to life with a minimum of hassle!

Huxley
 

Huxley

Well-known member
The keyboard is more a Plus unit than a 128/512.

The earlier is shorter
Oh, is that correct? I always thought the smaller layout came with the 128k / 512k, and the larger layout with the 10-key pad came in with the Mac Plus.

EDIT: Yep, turns out there are two versions of the "smaller" 1st-gen Mac keyboard, before the Plus-style board with the 10-key pad:
Version 1
Version 2

Learn something every day!

Huxley
 

olePigeon

Well-known member
I think the Beige Plus shipped with the short keyboard, then switched to the built-in keypad version when they Platinumatized.
 

Snial

Active member
What a great catch!

I have an SGI Indy, but it needs some work:
  1. The MAC address and a few other PRAM goodies are stored on a weird DS RTC chip with a built-in lithium coin-cell battery. It will have died by now, unless it's been replaced. I had a go at hacking it out years back, but it's not complete yet (I was using a scalpel knife, but apparently it needs a Dremel).
  2. I don't have a suitable SCSI drive, mine has no HD and I think it needs to be Ultra whatever given the number of pins. I'm based in the UK, so I'd have to source one from here, e.g. eBay.co.uk.
  3. I don't have a special Indy keyboard, but I think it takes PS/2 keyboards and mice.
  4. I've got enough RAM for maybe Irix 5.3, but probably not Irix 6.x (64MB?). I have a slow R4000 CPU and just 8-bit (pseudo 24-bit) graphics. Having said that, it's a plus point for me, because I'm interested in seeing what even that was capable of!
  5. I need to construct a video cable to hook it up to e.g. VGA if that's possible (which I understand is, strangely enough).
  6. I have an Irix 6.x CD, but it's probably a bit too scratched to work.
The SGI O2 is very interesting also, because of course, the R5000 (or maybe it's an O2 with an R10000) had a NUMA architecture, which is what Apple is doing with Apple Silicon Macs :)
 

Cory5412

Daring Pioneer of the Future
Staff member
Looks fun!

w/re NUMA: Right tech, wrong name:

NUMA (Non-Uniform Memory Access) was the architecture used on big SGIs (think: "supercomputer" and "a full rack or more"), based on some tech they bought from Cray. It's also sometimes seen on large-ish single-box platforms, for example some dual socket PC architecture systems let you install uneven amounts of RAM on each socket. There's a couple different forms and implementations, but it basically means that there's separate pools.

The O2, Apple Silicon, and indeed any computer with integrated graphics (incl. the Mac IIci/si and the PowerMac X100 group), uses Unified Memory Architecture. Different UMAs do better/worse with resource allocation, one of the cited strengths of both the SGI O2 and the Apple Silicon Macs (and iPhones/iPads/watch/TV) is more flexible allocation based on what's needed at the moment. Basically, SGI used it to make 3d texturing on the low end hardware better. Plus, not having to "move" data from one set of RAM to the other (especially, say, live video data).
 
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